WESTPORT, Conn. — When she was in her 20s, a friend told avid runner Bridget McBride to try a barre fitness class to help improve her marathon times.
What she found there was more than a new stretch or two: She found a new career.
On Wednesday, McBride and her sister, Caitlin Giambalvo, both of Fairfield, opened the doors on The Bar Method, their second fitness studio at 25 Sylvan Road South in Westport.
“I’ve been doing it for about 10 years now,” McBride said. “It’s honestly a lifestyle.”
The Bar Method is a low-impact exercise program designed and founded by Burr Leonard, who opened her first studio in Westport, but quickly moved out to California, where the technique caught on like wildfire.
Born of ballet and yoga, with a little Pilates and weight training tossed in, The Bar Method is an hour-long workout of isometric exercises and intervals of stretching to strengthen, tone and elongate the body’s major muscle groups.
McBride and Giambalvo who also have a location in Sportsplex@Fairfield, make sure to mix things up a bit with several different focuses and themes, so students don’t feel like their just going through the motions each visit. The studio also has a whopping 200 playlists to keep the music fresh, McBride said.
Every move is approved by physical therapists to keep students’ joints safe and target specific muscles efficiently.
“There are a lot of checks and balances,” McBride said.
A former host on E, TV Guide Network and popular Youtube channels, McBride should know. She’s due with her third child Saturday and she was stretching along with a Wednesday class taught by her sister, who formerly worked in training at a medical device company.
The new Westport digs boast a modern locker room with showers and changing rooms and will offer childcare during specific times.
The Bar Method Westport is now open from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 6 to 8:45 p.m., but hours are likely to expand and may include an early-morning session popular with teachers and commuters at the Fairfield location.
A single Bar Method class is $28 with a $100 New Client Special of unlimited classes over 30 days. Advanced registration online at westport.barmethod.com , with the Bar Method app or by phone at 203-557-6737 is recommended.
For more information, visit Facebook.com/barmethodwestport .
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